Medical Tourism: Once Ready for Takeoff, Now Stuck at the Gate image

Managed Care, March 28, 2018
Richard Mark Kirkner, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Faculty Director)


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From the article:

Consultants predicted it would be a major business. Large employers and insurers were experimenting with it. But medical tourism has not lived up to the heady expectations. The ACA and moderation of increases in health care costs cooled off interest. Besides, who really wants to go to an unfamiliar place for health care?

Getting credible information on outcomes from overseas procedures can be difficult. A search of the PubMed medical database yields numerous case reports of complications from operations like weight-loss surgery and cosmetic procedures outside the patients’ home country, but many of these cases are from Europe and Australia. There’s no information available about complication rates. “As with everything in this industry, getting actual data is quite difficult,” says Harvard professor Glenn Cohen, author of the 2014 book Patients with Passports.

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